Wednesday, May 1, 2019

WI Sup. Ct. just deepened Walker's indelibility

Imagine you and and an associate dissolved your business partnership according to your bylaws and rules you'd played by forever, but six months later a court ruled that your ex-partner still gets to choose dozens of your key employees, pick some board members and actively shape your business plan and daily activities.

For years.

That's the impact of the Wisconsin Supreme Court validation Tuesday of Walker's 82 last-minute appointees - - a partisan affirmation from a bare majority on a non-partisan-in-name-only bench - - that when coupled with other GOP lame-duck power grabs, gerrymandered, rigged legislation, unprecedented limitations on the Attorney General's authority and equally-tilted federal policy oversight also validated the GOP's superior proficiency in morality-free, loser-take-all political gamesmanship.

All hail Wisconsin one-party rule, where Republican machinery and functionaries now turn to again hand the state's pivotal electoral votes to the vulgarian authoritarian Donald Trump in 2020.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling also demonstrates the right's always-on-script, always-ideologically-based intention to keep Walker's influence alive and rightest agendas ascendant while Walker and his supporters continue to frame him as a kind of governor-in-exile - - a public relations manipulation he began by refusing publicly to concede on election night to the victorious Tony Evers.

What's even worse for democratic and Democratic prospects is the specter of a stronger GOP-friendly and corporation-friendlier 5-2 Supreme Court majority more powerful than the 4-3 margin by which scores of Walkerites minted in 11th-hour appointments have now been kept in state jobs despite his November defeat.

Progressives blundered badly in early April when they failed to prevent right-wing candidate and former Walker chief gubernatorial legal counsel Brian Hagedorn from winning a ten-year term on the State Supreme Court seat to replace the retiring, trail-blazing liberal justice Shirley Abrahamson.

If Democrats, progressives and independents who understand that one-party domination in Wisconsin by a Koch brothers/ALEC-backed Backwards Legislative Caucus is bad for the state cannot defeat in 2020 the next State Supreme Court justice up for re-election - - Walker appointee Dan Kelly - - then litigants and organizations and causes looking for relief from special interests and more reactionary lame-duckery can pretty much forget it. 

Democratic Governors and even fair redistricting could return and help rebalance some politics in Wisconsin, but a deeply red State Supreme Court can blot out blue waves here for a generation and leave Walker's damaging marks indelible.

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